Background: Whereas the role played by interleukin (IL)-10 in modulating fever and sickness behavior has been linked to it targeting the production of pro-inflammatory cytokines in the circulation, liver and spleen, it is not known whether it could directly target the local production of pro-inflammatory cytokines within the sensory circumventricular organs (CVOs) situated within the brain, but outside the blood–brain barrier. Using inactivation of IL-10, we, therefore, investigated whether IL-10 could modulate the synthesis of pro-inflammatory cytokines within the sensory CVOs, in particular the organum vasculosum laminae terminalis (OVLT) and area postrema (AP). Findings: Primary OVLT and AP microcultures were established from topographically excised rat pup brain tissue. The microcultures were pretreated with either IL-10 antibodies (AB) (10 μl/350 μl medium) or phosphate-buffered saline (PBS) (10 μl/350 μl medium) before being incubated with lipopolysaccharide (LPS) (100 μg/ml) or PBS in complete medium for 6 h. Supernatants were removed from the microcultures after 6 h of incubation with LPS and used for the determination of IL-6 and tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α. Pre-treating the OVLT and AP microcultures with IL-10 antibodies significantly enhanced the LPS-induced increase in TNF-α and IL-6 in the supernatant obtained from the microcultures. Conclusions: Our results show for the first time that the LPS-induced release of pro-inflammatory cytokines in cells cultured from the AP and OVLT can be modulated in the presence of IL-10 antibodies. Thus, we have identified that the sensory CVOs may have a key role to play in both the initiation and modulation of neuroinflammation.